Celesq® Programs

What It Takes to be a Trial Lawyer If You're Not a Man: The Ethical, Professional, and Personal Costs of Confronting Gender Bias in the Courtroom

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Today, women make up more than one half of all law school graduates. Yet they remain dramatically underrepresented at the top echelons of the profession. Two thirds of state and federal judges are men, as are 83 percent of elected prosecutors; less than one percent are women of color. In the majority of law firms, large and small, women make up only a fraction of the powerful inner circle: partners who bring in clients, lead litigation teams, and sit on powerful management and compensation committees. In the coveted position of first chair at trial, the number of women shrinks further. In this MCLE, law professor and trial lawyer Lara Bazelon explores the systemic gender bias exhibited by judges, opposing counsel, jurors, or the clients themselves that impedes womens advancement in the courtroom. She discusses the "double bind" that ensnares women who must be strong without coming across as strident and attractive without coming across as provocative. Bazelon discusses why these biases continue to persist and the thorny ethical problems that can arise with confronting them head-on, in particular concerns about harming the interests of the client and the reality that conforming to certain stereotypes can be strategically advantageous while feeling personally conflicting. She ends with different strategies employed by women to push back and ideas for how the next generation of women trial lawyers use their individual and collective voices to change the status quo. Professor Bazelons book: Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction (Beacon Press) is currently available for pre-order at a number of online book sellers, including Amazon. Please go to her website: www.larabazelon.com to learn more about Rectify. Synopsis: In the courtroom, there are always—and only— two irreconcilable sides of the same story. Black/white. Right/wrong. Feller/fallen. When the wrong story prevails, justice is perverted and an innocent person is condemned. When there is an exoneration, expect a happy ending. But an exoneration is an earthquake that leaves behind upheaval and ruin. Is there a way forward?

Available in States

  • California
  • Georgia
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Texas Self Study

Program Categories

  • Communications and Media Law
  • Elimination of Bias--Special ethics
  • Ethics & Professionalism
  • Law Practice Management
  • State Specific - NY
  • State Specific: CA (qualifies for Elimination of Bias)
  • Trial Skills